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Michael Sweig, JD

Michael Sweig, JD
Founder at Citizens' Institute: for People with Criminal Records 

Professor, Lobbyist, Author, Speaker, Policy Consultant. Founder, Citizens' Institute: for People with Criminal Records. Legal Studies Professor (2000 - 2012). JD, De Paul University College of Law (1986). BA, Economics. University of California, Santa Cruz. (1980).

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Mr. Sweig is a lobbyist, policy consultant, author and speaker. He is Founder of the nonprofit Citizens' Institute: for People with Criminal Records. Mr. Sweig was recently affiliate faculty at Metropolitan State University of Denver (2011-2012), where he taught in the Criminal Justice and Communications departments, and was a legal studies professor at Chicago's Roosevelt University from 2003-2010.

He is author of "In Felony's Mirror: Reflections on Pain and Promise." A memoir with commentary on legal ethics and restorative justice for white collar crime. The book is for policy-makers, criminal justice, business and legal ethics classrooms.

In August 2010, The Chicago Tribune published an article entitled, “From Practicing Law to Changing It,” which describes Mr. Sweig's path since his own felony conviction in 1999, and why he became a full-time advocate for people with criminal records.

In September 2010, Illinois Senate President, John J. Cullerton, appointed Mr. Sweig to the Criminal Justice Information Authority Task Force on Inventorying Employment Barriers for people with criminal records. .

Mr. Sweig was the principal lobbyist, co-author and liaison to Governor Pat Quinn’s policy staff for Illinois Senate Bill 1050, which Governor Quinn called “noble legislation,” and which became law effective January 1, 2010. The new law vastly empowers thousands of people with criminal records to bypass the Prisoner Review Board and petition the court that convicted them for a Certificate of Rehabilitation, to use in obtaining occupational licensing and substantive employment requiring good moral character.

Mr. Sweig was formerly Public Policy Liaison for the Safer Foundation in Chicago, one of the nation’s largest private, nonprofit social service providers that assist people with criminal records exclusively. At Safer, he supported the legislative and policy agendas with external education, research, and various papers and publications.

Following are Mr. Sweig's recent publications and papers.

Blueprint for Progress: How Illinois Empowers Rehabilitated People with Criminal Records | Ch. 8, ISSUES WITH CRIMINAL RECORDS, 2010 Supplement, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education | Summer 2010; Supplement 2012

Beyond Legal Mechanisms – Employment, Housing and Other Related Critical Supports | Ch. 6, ISSUES WITH CRIMINAL RECORDS, 2010 Supplement, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education | Summer 2010 (with co-author, Jodina Hicks); Supplement 2012

Moving-the-Box by Executive Order in Illinois | [forthcoming] De Paul Journal of Social Justice, Winter 2010

Advancing Equal Justice Under Law for People with Criminal Records: Uniform Standards for Assessing Occupational Licensing Applications | Spring 2010;

Mr. Sweig has been a legal studies professor for a decade, primarily at Roosevelt University’s Heller College of Business, where he taught from 2003 – 2010, and remains on the Advisory Board of Roosevelt University’s Institute for Metropolitan Affairs. He is a Staff Editor for the Journal of Legal Studies Education, and a reviewer for the Journal of Legal Studies in Business, the American Business Law Journal, and the Journal of Labor and Employment Law. He is a member of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business.

Mr. Sweig received his B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his J.D. from De Paul University College of Law, where he was Managing Editor of Lead Articles for the De Paul Law Review, 1985 – 1986.

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